Want a career that makes an impact? We’ve got the plan.
Go beyond urban planning and learn to tackle the environmental and social challenges facing the world's urban, rural, and natural areas. Learn how to manage the growth of cities, design efficient transportation systems, protect parks and other natural areas, preserve heritage, and more.
This multidisciplinary program covers everything from economic and legal issues to design skills, land development, and GIS technology. Whether you choose to put your degree to work for government, academia, or the private sector, you'll be ready to create a sustainable future through smart planning.
Because this is a co-op program, you’ll graduate with 20 months of paid real-world experience. Use your five co-op work terms to explore the many areas within planning so that when you graduate, you have a network of potential employers and you know which career areas you'd like to pursue.
In Canada for integrating sustainability issues in a planning degree program
Gain 20 months of paid work experience through co-op
Earn a Bachelor of Environmental Studies in Planning
Planning admission requirements
Ontario students: six Grade 12 U and/or M courses including
- Any Grade 12 U English (minimum final grade of 75% is required)
Admission averages: Low 80s
We recommend completing the Admission Information Form once you've applied.
Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements.
Planning at Waterloo
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Questions? Ask a student!
Contact an Environment student ambassador to learn about their experience.
Ask them questions such as why they chose their program, what the classes are like, and how you can get involved on campus.
First-year courses and beyond
September to December
January to April
After first year
Most of the classes you’ll take will be Planning courses. With your remaining classes, you can choose electives from many of the 100 subject areas at Waterloo.
View a list of all the courses required for your degree.
Sample upper-year courses
Co-op = relevant paid work experience
Get relevant experience in urban planning and build a career network before you graduate. By alternating school terms and paid co-op work terms throughout your degree, you can explore new career areas and types of employers as your career interests evolve.
Sample co-op job titles
- Planning policy assistant
- Student planner
- Planning assistant
- Junior project manager
- Coordinator land development
- Safety research assistant
- Rail operations co-op student
- Innovation operations and outreach assistant
Sample co-op employers
- City of Windsor
- Town of Kingsville
- WSP Canada Inc.
- Regional Municipality of Peel
- Mattamy Homes
- Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs
- City of Kitchener
- EcoVue Consulting Services Inc.
Customize your degree
You can add additional areas of expertise by including one or more of the areas of focus in Planning.
- Decision Support and Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
- Environmental Planning and Management
- Land Development Planning
- Urban Design
You can also include one of the minors available to all Waterloo student, such as Geography and Environmental Management, a popular choice among Planning students.
What can you do with a degree in planning?
Waterloo Planning graduates have been very successful pursuing careers as planners in transportation and transit, land development, and policy for municipalities, conservation groups, as well as in the private sector as consultants, developers, project managers, and more.
- Development Planner – Town of Whitby
- Land Use Planner – Aird & Berlis
- Senior Urban Designer – FoTenn Consultants
- Transportation Planner – Metrolinx
- Senior Project Planner – WSP
- Landscape Designer – Fossil Landscapes
- Community Planner – County of Frontenac
Learn about the future of careers in environment, sustainability, and climate change.
While the full range of further education depends on your individual interests, these are common areas where graduates pursued a master's, PhD, or other professional program.
- Urban and regional planning
- Environmental planning
- Geographic information systems
- Local economic development
- Urban design
- Business (MBA)
Possible professional designation
Check out these articles to learn more about Planning at Waterloo, the student experience, co-op, and more.
- An environment of ideation (Beyond Ideas website)
- Well planned: Creating safer and inclusive communities (Beyond Ideas website)
- There is no such thing as neutral when you have power (Waterloo Stories website)
Programs in Ontario recognized by the Canadian Institute of Planners
Apply directly to the Planning program on your application
Offered by the Faculty of Environment
Ready to learn more?
- Download our program brochure
- Visit the School of Planning website
- Email Graham Barnes, our Faculty of Environment recruitment coordinator, who can answer any questions about the program
- Related programs
See planning in action
Field trips let you see good — and bad — planning across Southern Ontario. You’ll even have the option of taking a three-week field course at Oxford Brookes University, one of the U.K.'s most highly regarded urban planning schools.
Jump start your career
And because it’s accredited by the Canadian Institute of Planners, you’ll already meet many of the requirements to become a Registered Professional Planner.